Dividend Challengers (And Near-Challengers): 87 Increases Expected By April 30

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Includes: AGM, AGO, AIG, AMSF, ANTM, AON, ARGO, ATLO, CE, CHCO, CHS, CLDT, CNS, CONE, CPT, CRI, CSCO, CZWI, DPZ, EMCF, ENH, ETN, EVBN, FFG, FIRT, FL, FLIR, FR, FRC, GBCI, GIL, GLT, GME, GNC, GRRB, HD, HMN, HPT, HRC, HURC, IEX, INDB, IR, ITT, KAI, KSS, KW, LAZ, LMAT, LSI, MGA, MLR, MOV, MTN, ONB, OPOF, OXM, PDCO, PEB, PEG, PLOW, PNBI, QNBC, QNTO, RHP, ROIC, RUTH, SCS, SFNC, SGU, SIG, SNI, SOMC, SPTN, STLD, TXRH, TYPE, UDR, USPH, WLTW, WRI, WSBC, WTBFA, WYN, XRAY, XRX, ZBH
by: David Fish

Summary

CCC universe approaches 800 companies.

Quaint Oak and Lazard aim for Contender status.

Is Cisco a compelling value?

In compiling the Dividend Champions list (found here) I get to see which companies are nearing the anniversaries of their previous dividend increases. Since most of these firms raise their payout about the same time every year, I can say with some confidence that they are likely to do so again. I have separated the Champions (25 or more years of higher dividends), Contenders (10-24 years), and Challengers (5-9 years) into distinct groupings, so please look for the other articles, which I hope will be published about the same time. Note that "CCC" refers to the combination of Champions, Contenders, and Challengers.

Expansion Returns

The first six weeks of 2017 have demonstrated how strong (and wide-spread) dividend growth can be, as dozens of companies have already extended their streaks of dividend growth and the CCC "universe" has grown to almost 800 companies. (There are 798 as of this writing.) As mentioned in recent months, the light activity from mid-December to mid-January gave way to a sharp pickup in dividend-increase announcements with Ex-Dividend Dates beginning around Groundhog Day and that will continue through March and April, when many companies announce their annual earnings and schedule the annual shareholder meetings. The number of announcements for all Champions, Contenders, Challengers, and Near-Challengers expected in the next 11 weeks has declined from 186 a month ago to 133 now, a good indication of how "busy" late January and February has been for dividend increase announcements.

The table below coincides with the usual "forward look" of about 11 weeks for this article. Based on last year's announcements, I'm expecting the following companies to announce dividend increases between now and the anniversary of the Ex-Dividend Date of their previous increase:

Dividend Challengers (5-9 years):

Company

Ticker

No.

1/31/17

Div.

MR%

LY

Ann.

DGR

Name

Symbol

Yrs

Price

Yield

Inc.

Ex-Div

Div.

5-yr

FLIR Systems Inc.

(NASDAQ:FLIR)

6

35.33

1.36

9.09

2/17/16

0.48

14.9

GrandSouth Bancorp

(OTCQB:GRRB)

5

14.50

2.76

25.00

2/24/16

0.40

n/a

Emclaire Financial Corp.

(NASDAQ:EMCF)

6

26.63

3.91

8.33

2/25/16

1.04

10.2

Scripps Networks Interactive

(NYSE:SNI)

6

76.16

1.31

8.70

2/25/16

1.00

21.7

Old National Bancorp

(NYSE:ONB)

5

17.75

2.93

8.33

2/26/16

0.52

13.2

Eaton Corp. plc

(NYSE:ETN)

7

70.78

3.22

3.64

3/3/16

2.28

10.9

GameStop Corp.

(NYSE:GME)

5

24.49

6.04

2.78

3/4/16

1.48

n/a

Weingarten Realty Investors

(NYSE:WRI)

6

35.63

4.10

5.80

3/4/16

1.46

5.8

Assured Guaranty Ltd.

(NYSE:AGO)

5

38.91

1.34

8.33

3/7/16

0.52

23.6

Cohen & Steers Inc.

(NYSE:CNS)

7

34.89

2.98

4.00

3/7/16

1.04

11.6

Kohl's Corp.

(NYSE:KSS)

6

39.83

5.02

11.11

3/7/16

2.00

14.9

Anthem Inc.

(NYSE:ANTM)

6

154.14

1.69

4.00

3/8/16

2.60

21.1

Gildan Activewear Inc.

(NYSE:GIL)

6

26.17

1.19

20.00

3/8/16

0.31

21.6

Home Depot Inc.

(NYSE:HD)

7

137.58

2.01

16.95

3/8/16

2.76

21.6

Public Service Enterprise Gp

(NYSE:PEG)

5

44.25

3.71

5.13

3/8/16

1.64

3.7

GNC Holdings Inc.

(NYSE:GNC)

5

8.87

9.02

11.11

3/9/16

0.80

n/a

Ingersoll-Rand plc

(NYSE:IR)

6

79.35

2.02

25.00

3/9/16

1.60

28.8

Magna International Inc.

(NYSE:MGA)

6

43.28

2.31

13.64

3/9/16

1.00

14.9

QNB Corp.

(OTCPK:QNBC)

6

36.75

3.27

3.45

3/9/16

1.20

3.7

WesBanco Inc.

(NASDAQ:WSBC)

6

41.50

2.31

4.35

3/9/16

0.96

9.6

Wyndham Worldwide Corp.

(NYSE:WYN)

7

79.06

2.53

19.05

3/9/16

2.00

27.2

Chico's FAS Inc.

(NYSE:CHS)

7

13.49

2.37

3.23

3/10/16

0.32

9.9

Hill-Rom Holdings Inc.

(NYSE:HRC)

6

58.87

1.16

6.25

3/10/16

0.68

9.1

Evans Bancorp Inc.

(NYSEMKT:EVBN)

5

36.40

2.09

5.56

3/11/16

0.76

13.7

FBL Financial Group Inc.

(NYSE:FFG)

6

69.80

2.41

5.00

3/11/16

1.68

42.3

Simmons First National Corp.

(NASDAQ:SFNC)

5

60.15

1.60

4.35

3/11/16

0.96

4.0

Retail Opportunity Investments

(NASDAQ:ROIC)

7

21.20

3.40

5.88

3/14/16

0.72

13.0

Texas Roadhouse Inc.

(NASDAQ:TXRH)

6

46.64

1.63

11.76

3/14/16

0.76

18.3

Endurance Specialty Holdings

(NYSE:ENH)

6

92.69

1.64

8.57

3/16/16

1.52

4.8

U.S. Physical Therapy Inc.

(NASDAQ:USPH)

6

70.15

0.97

13.33

3/16/16

0.68

15.6

Douglas Dynamics Inc.

(NYSE:PLOW)

7

33.80

2.78

5.62

3/17/16

0.94

3.1

Federal Agricultural Mortgage

(NYSE:AGM)

5

55.66

1.87

62.50

3/17/16

1.04

39.1

Horace Mann Educators Corp.

(NYSE:HMN)

7

41.35

2.56

6.00

3/17/16

1.06

18.2

LeMaitre Vascular Inc.

(NASDAQ:LMAT)

6

22.71

0.79

12.50

3/17/16

0.18

23.9

Miller Industries Inc.

(NYSE:MLR)

7

26.50

2.57

6.25

3/17/16

0.68

7.2

Pioneer Bankshares Inc.

(OTCPK:PNBI)

7

24.00

3.17

5.56

3/17/16

0.76

5.2

SpartanNash Company

(NASDAQ:SPTN)

6

37.86

1.58

11.11

3/17/16

0.60

19.6

Dentsply Sirona Inc.

(NASDAQ:XRAY)

5

56.70

0.55

6.90

3/22/16

0.31

8.8

Independent Bank Corp. MA

(NASDAQ:INDB)

6

62.35

1.86

11.54

3/24/16

1.16

8.5

Vail Resorts Inc.

(NYSE:MTN)

6

171.54

1.89

30.12

3/25/16

3.24

59.0

Camden Property Trust

(NYSE:CPT)

6

83.57

3.59

7.14

3/29/16

3.00

9.0

Chatham Lodging Trust

(NYSE:CLDT)

7

20.14

6.55

10.00

3/29/16

1.32

13.0

Kennedy-Wilson Holdings Inc.

(NYSE:KW)

6

20.45

2.74

16.67

3/29/16

0.56

46.5

Steel Dynamics Inc.

(NASDAQ:STLD)

6

33.81

1.66

1.82

3/29/16

0.56

8.3

Willis Towers Watson plc

(NASDAQ:WLTW)

5

125.13

1.53

54.84

3/29/16

1.92

11.0

Zimmer Biomet Holdings Inc.

(NYSE:ZBH)

5

118.33

0.81

9.09

3/29/16

0.96

n/a

Monotype Imaging Holdings

(NASDAQ:TYPE)

5

21.90

2.01

10.00

3/30/16

0.44

n/a

Steelcase Inc.

(NYSE:SCS)

6

16.80

2.86

6.67

3/31/16

0.48

16.5

Cisco Systems Inc.

(NASDAQ:CSCO)

6

30.72

3.39

23.81

4/4/16

1.04

40.6

Southern Michigan Bancorp

(OTCPK:SOMC)

5

32.30

2.23

12.50

4/6/16

0.72

28.5

UDR Inc.

(NYSE:UDR)

6

34.95

3.38

6.31

4/7/16

1.18

8.6

Glacier Bancorp Inc.

(NASDAQ:GBCI)

5

35.53

2.25

5.26

4/8/16

0.80

8.7

Movado Group Inc.

(NYSE:MOV)

6

27.15

1.92

18.18

4/8/16

0.52

40.9

City Holding Co.

(NASDAQ:CHCO)

5

65.09

2.64

2.38

4/13/16

1.72

4.7

Foot Locker Inc.

(NYSE:FL)

6

68.54

1.60

10.00

4/13/16

1.10

10.8

Oxford Industries Inc.

(NYSE:OXM)

6

55.02

1.96

8.00

4/13/16

1.08

16.2

Patterson Companies Inc.

(NASDAQ:PDCO)

7

41.61

2.31

9.09

4/13/16

0.96

15.4

IDEX Corp.

(NYSE:IEX)

7

90.16

1.51

6.25

4/14/16

1.36

15.2

Hospitality Properties Trust

(NYSE:HPT)

5

31.13

6.55

2.00

4/21/16

2.04

2.4

Quaint Oak Bancorp Inc.

(OTCQX:QNTO)

9

12.20

1.31

6.67

4/21/16

0.16

18.5

First Republic Bank

(NYSE:FRC)

5

94.33

0.68

6.67

4/26/16

0.64

n/a

Ames National Corp.

(NASDAQ:ATLO)

6

32.30

2.60

5.00

4/27/16

0.84

10.7

Signet Jewelers Limited

(NYSE:SIG)

6

77.67

1.34

18.18

4/27/16

1.04

58.5

Aon plc

(NYSE:AON)

5

112.70

1.17

10.00

4/28/16

1.32

16.5

Celanese Corp.

(NYSE:CE)

7

84.40

1.71

20.00

4/28/16

1.44

41.9

Lazard Limited

(NYSE:LAZ)

9

42.48

3.58

8.57

4/29/16

1.52

19.8

MR=Most Recent; LY=Last Year; DGR=Dividend Growth Rate through 2015

In addition, there's a number of Near-Challengers that are on schedule to record their fifth year of increases during this period:

Company

Ticker

No.

LY

Name

Symbol

Yrs

Ex-Div

Ruth's Hospitality Group Inc.

(NASDAQ:RUTH)

4

2/23/16

Old Point Financial Corp.

(NASDAQ:OPOF)

4

2/25/16

Argo Group International Hdgs

(AGII)

4

2/26/16

First BancTrust Corp.

(OTCQX:FIRT)

4

3/3/16

W.T.B. Financial Corp.

(OTCPK:WTBFA)

4

3/3/16

Carter's Inc.

(NYSE:CRI)

4

3/9/16

Citizens Community Bancorp

(NASDAQ:CZWI)

4

3/9/16

ITT Corp.

(NYSE:ITT)

4

3/9/16

American International Group

(NYSE:AIG)

4

3/10/16

AMERISAFE Inc.

(NASDAQ:AMSF)

4

3/10/16

Domino's Pizza Inc.

(NYSE:DPZ)

4

3/11/16

CyrusOne Inc.

(NASDAQ:CONE)

4

3/22/16

Hurco Companies Inc.

(NASDAQ:HURC)

4

3/23/16

First Industrial Realty Trust

(NYSE:FR)

4

3/29/16

Pebblebrook Hotel Trust

(NYSE:PEB)

4

3/29/16

Ryman Hospitality Properties

(NYSE:RHP)

4

3/29/16

Xerox Corp.

(NYSE:XRX)

4

3/29/16

PH Glatfelter Co.

(NYSE:GLT)

4

3/30/16

Kadant Inc.

(NYSE:KAI)

4

4/12/16

Life Storage, Inc.

(NYSE:LSI)

4

4/12/16

Star Gas Partners LP

(NYSE:SGU)

4

4/26/16

Not all of the above companies will meet the strict standards of every investor, but some may be appropriate for portfolio diversification. Potential investors should do more research before committing funds.

Every Picture Tells a Story

As a bonus, I'm inserting one of Chuck Carnevale's F.A.S.T. Graphs below, highlighting one of the companies listed above. When the stock's price line has moved into the green area, it indicates that the stock is undervalued in relation to its earnings. I'm attaching the chart below.

Disclosure: I/we have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours.

I wrote this article myself, and it expresses my own opinions. I am not receiving compensation for it (other than from Seeking Alpha). I have no business relationship with any company whose stock is mentioned in this article.

Editor's Note: This article covers one or more stocks trading at less than $1 per share and/or with less than a $100 million market cap. Please be aware of the risks associated with these stocks.